AS A THESPIAN, you know the benefits of participating in theatre at your high school. But you might not know that not all American students have access to theatre programs in their schools. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 28 percent of public high schools in high poverty areas offer theatre education.

School theatre is not just a fun activity. Theatre participation can put students on a positive path and set them up for success in life. Being in a school play is a microcosm of life: Students work collaboratively in a team environment, build communication skills and creativity, and demonstrate discipline and accountability to deliver a final production in front of an audience.

Every year in March, the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, the Educational Theatre Association, and the International Thespian Society partner for Theatre in Our Schools month to raise awareness about the value of theatre education and draw attention to the need for all students to have access to a quality theatre program. You can play an important role in spreading the word in your community. Below are eight tips for getting started.

1. Share Theatre in Our Schools month facts, hashtags (#TIOS19 and #TheatreInOurSchools), videos, and photos to let your friends and followers on social media know about the benefits of school theatre.

2. Use social media to tell your own story of how theatre has positively affected your life.

3. Try out a theatre role that’s new to you. If you’ve never auditioned for a show, take the risk. If you’re usually in the cast, sign up to work backstage. Then encourage a friend who’s never tried theatre to join you.

4. Attend a performance at your school or support a show at a neighboring high school. More than 49 million people did last year.

5. Advocate for theatre and the arts with your school board and school district. Most decisions about budgets and curriculum for school theatre are made locally. Here are ideas and resources.

6. Write a letter to the editor of your community newspaper or local television station about the impact theatre has at your school. You’ll find templates to guide you on our website.

7. Encourage your parents and neighbors to buy an ad in your show program, volunteer to use their carpentry or sewing skills as members of your tech crew (no theatre knowledge needed!), or make a donation to help more students gain access to school theatre.

8. Help your teachers grow your network of community supporters, such as a parent booster club. Theatre is collaborative on and off the stage.

Opportunities to get involved are as limitless as your imagination. If you have great ideas to add to our list, let us know. We’d love to hear how you and your Thespian troupe are observing Theatre in Our Schools month this year.

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